Today, Fox & Friends proved once again that there's absolutely no topic that's off limits when it comes to attacking the Obamas. Their bafflingly stupid outrage du jour centered around the White House's annual celebration of....Easter.
In a tease, co-host Brian Kilmeade let us know right off the bat why we should be enraged:
KILMEADE: Coming up straight ahead in the next hour, nothing says Easter like a green egg. President Obama's plan to make the holiday energy efficient? Are you kidding me? Laura Ingraham at the top of the hour with her opinion.
Got that? Obama will be celebrating Easter in a more energy-efficient way. What a jerk.
But believe it or not, the segment with Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham actually unfolded along those lines. First, the co-hosts bungled a White House press release announcing that this year's official souvenir eggs for the Easter Egg Roll will be more "environmentally friendly." From the show:
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): OK. Coming up, the next big holiday is Easter. His --
INGRAHAM: Oh, good. Let's move! It's a "Let's Move" campaign for Easter.
DOOCY: Historically, the White House is giving out hardwood Easter eggs.
DOOCY: You know, the kids actually use real Easter eggs when they do the egg roll.
DOOCY: But now they've green with their eggs.
INGRAHAM: Green eggs and flim-flam. Ok, these are eggs. Now, look at this -- this video here. Those are the wooden eggs.
DOOCY: They're pretty.
INGRAHAM: But now they're sustainable hardwood, certified hardwood, meaning they're made out of particle board, and they are environmentally friendly. OK? I can't --
DOOCY: Particle board?
I'm not sure what "[g]reen eggs and flim-flam" are, but I do know this: hardwood is not, in fact, the same thing as "particle board." Perhaps they were confused by the use of the term "paperboard" in the actual White House press release (emphasis added):
In a continued effort to make the Easter Egg Roll more environmentally friendly, all eggs have again been crafted in the United States from Forest Stewardship Council-certified hardwood. The packaging has also been designed to minimize waste and environmental impact, helping to create a 'greener' Easter Egg and Easter Egg packaging.
Below is information on the packaging:
Made from Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) - certified paperboard
SFI® paperboard uses no wood fibers from controversial sources
The printed carton is easily recyclable when collected and processed in a municipal or community Paperboard Recycling Program.
Features vegetable oil-based inks and a water-based coating
I can't believe I'm having to parse descriptions of souvenir packaging, but it's important to underscore that "particle board" is not involved here. It's possible Ingraham just misspoke, but it's also possible that she knows particle board can pose health risks -- it emits formaldehyde -- and wanted to imply that the White House is giving children toxic souvenirs. Again: not happening.
Also, the fact that the White House is making the Egg Roll eggs more environmentally friendly is not exactly news. From a 2009 press release:
The White House today unveiled the 2009 Souvenir Easter Egg. This is the first time the egg design has been available to families prior to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, to be held on Monday, April 13th. This year's Easter Egg Roll activities build on the theme of 'Let's Go Play,' which will seek to educate children on the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. This year's egg is the 'greenest' egg in White House Easter Egg Roll history.
The 2009 egg:
- Uses 31% less paperboard than the 2008 designs
- Eliminates the need for the paper shred/filler
- Features an egg-shaped dye cut instead of a cellophane window
- Uses renewable, vegetable oil-based inks
Moving on, the co-hosts and Ingraham blithely attack the practice of handing out wooden souvenir eggs and then suggest Michelle Obama is some kind of narcissist for "sign[ing]" the souvenirs and combining the annual event with her "Let's Move!" initiative:
INGRAHAM: I'm kind of old-fashioned. I'm just from this little town in Connecticut. I don't -- why don't they do real eggs? Isn't -- wouldn't that be the most sustainable?
DOOCY: Because somebody would save it and eat it in a year and get sick and sue the government.
INGRAHAM: Alright, OK. But these eggs are signed. Because when I think of Easter, I think signed eggs by Michelle and Barack Obama. I don't think -- I don't know if Laura Bush signed eggs during the Bush administration, but it always kind of goes back to the brand name. Because I think the slogan for this Easter Egg Roll, you know, forget the whole thing about "He is risen" -- it's all, the slogan is "Get up and go." So "Let's Move" manages to find its iteration and own branding in every other holiday, Christian holiday, whatever. It's all tied to the Let's Move campaign.
On-screen text falsely claims:
First of all, the White House has been handing out commemorative wooden eggs at the Easter Egg Roll for decades -- in fact, it was First Lady Nancy Reagan who began the tradition in 1980. The tradition of having the eggs "pre-printed with the president's and first lady's signatures" began in 1989 -- under President George H. W. Bush. So, yes, Laura Bush's signature appeared on these wooden eggs during the George W. Bush administration:
And while pictures of the president don't appear on this year's eggs -- the image is, in fact...a cartoon rabbit -- the 2008 commemorative national egg actually featured a picture of Laura Bush on the back. Yet somehow, Fox would have us believe the Obamas are the narcissists. Right.
Second of all, what, exactly, is Ingraham's problem with tying an Easter event to promoting exercise for children? Setting aside Fox's ongoing War on Nutrition, it sounds like she's claiming that having a theme for the White House Easter Egg Roll, a secular family event, is somehow sacrilegious.
Hmm. Let's see what the theme was at the 2008 Easter Egg Roll:
Q. What is this year's theme?
A. The 2008 White House Easter Egg Roll will focus on the importance of ocean conservation to our national heritage, economy, and security. As children explore the White House grounds, they will learn about our oceans and how to preserve them for future generations. Through education and volunteerism, all families can make a difference in keeping our oceans clean.
The President and Mrs. Bush are committed to continuing to protect our natural resources through wise stewardship and sensible management. In 2004, the President released his Ocean Action Plan to promote responsible use and preservation of our oceans and coastal resources. Of the 88 actions in the President's 2004 Ocean Action Plan, this Administration has met or is on schedule to meet all commitments, and more than a quarter of the existing actions have activities that "moved beyond" the initial commitments.
The message of ocean conservation will be present throughout the White House grounds as children learn about how they can clean marine debris and keep our oceans clean and safe. Children will be able to view and touch marine life, interact with U.S. Coast Guard's Officer Snook, help paint visions of the sea on a 20-foot mural with the help of renowned marine life artist Wyland, and collect literature on ocean conservation.
If she were consistent, I'm guessing Ingraham would have also been enraged by this "branding" of a "Christian holiday" with the importance of ocean conservation.
But of course, this has nothing to do with being consistent. It's about Fox being so desperate to attack Obama that they'll stoop to attacking environmentally-friendly packaging, children's souvenirs, and promoting exercise for kids.
Good grief. What's next? Fox denouncing the Easter Bunny for being some kind of suspicious guest at the White House?